Farmers planted these crops on more land in the hopes of a profit
Muskmelons locally known as Lalmi melons are being destroyed by farmers, as they are not able to sell their produce in Faridpur due to a lack of wholesalers amid the countrywide lockdown.
As a result, they will have to face immense losses.
Rajib Bepari, a farmer from Matukchar in Sadarpur upazila, said: “I cultivate Lalmi melons on one bigha of land this year. It cost about Tk50,000. Due to the lockdown, I am not able to sell my produce as there are no wholesalers visiting us. I did it by borrowing the lump sum and now I am worried about repaying because I have not been able to sell much.”
According to sources, this time Lalmi variants of melons have been cultivated in almost all the upazilas of the district, with highest yield reported in Krishtapur and Bahanchar areas of Sadarpur.
Farmers planted these crops on more land in the hopes of a profit. Even though there is bumper crop, there are no buyers and as a result, the fruits are being left to rot.
Harun Hossain, a farmer of Boalmari Gunbaha area, said that although the yield is good this time, the condition of the farmers is not good as the wholesalers are not coming.
Several local farmers said during the last lockdown last year, wholesalers came from different places despite the pandemic.
They were able to sell Lalmi to different places, including Dhaka, by truck.
This time they are not meeting. Besides, traders from different parts of the district used to come and sell Lalmi melons in shops and vans. This time they are not there.
Hannan Mollah, a farmer from Krishtapur area, said that last year, a Lalmi melon was sold at Tk50-150 per piece. This year it has to be sold for Tk30-50. It will be difficult to raise the cost.
Deputy Director of the district's Department of Agricultural Extension office, Hazrat Ali said that Lalmi melons have been cultivated in 206 hectares in the district this year. The yield has also been good.
"Usually we give good advice to the farmers. But we do not provide marketing strategies to the farmers," he added.